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BOY, the tr. of two Heb. words in the OT. The Heb. יֶ֫לֶד, H3529, means literally “bearling,” “one born” and therefore is used of children both male and female. However, where it is clear that a lad is implied it is tr. “boy,” in the KJV and RSV. It occurs in two passages only (Joel 3:3; Zech 8:5). In the more than ninety occurrences these are the only two which are tr. “boy.” The other term is Heb. נַ֫עַר, H5853, “servant” and secondarily “boy,” but only so tr. in Genesis 25:27. It must be noted that among ancient peoples there was little in the way of a differentiation between the stages of infancy to old age. Such terms as “boy” or “girl” are therefore imprecise, and must be interpreted by the context in which they occur.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See Child; Family; Son.

Jacob W. Kapp